TCHAIKOVSKY Nutcracker Suite No. 1 REINECKE Flute Concerto in D RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Sheherazade
Two Russian masters inspired by two exotic stories. Tchaikovsky’s universally popular fairytale adaptation evokes memories of childhood Christmases, dolls and gingerbread men. Rimsky-Korsakov conjures up the exoticism of ancient Persia as the legendary queen Sheherazade entrances the King with her stories for a thousand and one nights, thus winning his heart and escaping the grizzly fate of her predecessors.Carl Reinecke may not be a household name today, but in his lifetime made a substantial contribution to the flute repertoire, was a pre-eminent composition teacher and Mozart interpreter, and was director of one of the world’s oldest symphony orchestras, the Gewandhaus Orchestra.
Soloist Rosamund Plummer is Principal Piccolo with the Sydney Symphony, teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and regularly commissions and performs new music by Australian composers.
Paul Terracini | conductor Sarah Toth | soprano Pascal Herington | tenor Alexander Knight | baritone
Penrith City Choir, Academy Singers, Warrimoo Chorale Penrith City Children’s Choir
Lucy McAlary | chorus director
PÄRT Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten MCNAMARA Modes of Deception ORFF Carmina Burana
The scenic cantata Carmina Burana provides musical fireworks on a grand scale as we join forces with local choirs, and soloists from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, to celebrate 25 years of Penrith Symphony Orchestra.
Based on a set of medieval secular poems in Latin and early German, the work celebrates the human spirit. Combining twentieth century style with medieval rhythms and tonalities, it explores the fragility of fortune and wealth, the joy of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of human vices.
In contrasting style is a simple meditation on death by the iconic Estonian composer Arvo Pärt – an early example of his signature “tintinnabuli” style.
The orchestra’s championing of young Sydney composers continues with Peter McNamara’s work Modes of Deception.
LISZT Les Préludes BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor SCHUMANN Symphony No 3 in E-flat major (Rhenish)
Les Préludes is infused with the morbid foreboding for which Liszt is well known. In the words of the work’s preface, “What else is our life but a series of preludes to that unknown Hymn, the first and solemn note of which is intoned by Death?”
The Rhenish Symphony, on the other hand, is optimistic in spirit, stemming from a brief period of intense productivity when Schumann’s troubled soul enjoyed improved physical health and renewed mental vigour.
The playful orchestration and harmonic approach of Beethoven’s third piano concerto, written in his pivotal middle period, harks back to the Classical elegance of Mozart while at the same time foreshadowing the muscular energy of the composer’s later works.
Guest-conducting Penrith Symphony Orchestra for the first time is Japanese maestro Sadaharu Muramatsu, who now resides in Sydney where he teaches at the Wesley Institute.Soloist Alex Zhang is one of Sydney’s up-and-coming young pianists, and was named Conservatorium High School Outstanding Student of the Year in 2012.
WAGNER Tannhäuser : Overture BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor BRAHMS Symphony No 4 in E minor
Wagner’s overture to Tannhäuser provides a miniaturised glimpse of the opera’s world of ancient mythology and sacred and profane love, ranging from the hushed, h ymn-like reverence of the Pilgrims’ Chorus to a musical depiction of Venusberg revelries.
The richness of Wagner’s score provides the perfect introduction to the lyrical beauty and emotional intensity of Bruch’s ravishing G minor concerto – a work which caused its composer much anguish throughout his life, yet today is one of the handful of works for which he is best known.
Brahms’s final symphony, at times dark and introverted, yet full of melodic beauty and passion, is the sublime culmination of the composer’s symphonic canon.
Barbara Jane Gilby, concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and former concertmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, has enjoyed an illustrious international career as one of Australia’s leading orchestral violinists, soloists and string orchestra directors.
11.00am for children aged 2 to 7 12.00noon for children aged 5 to 12
George Ellis | conductor
Pops for Tots Maestro George Ellis leads children on a musical treasure hunt through the sounds of live orchestral music – and there is a special surprise in store at the end. These lively, interactive concerts make a great family outing full of fun and discovery. Featured music includes the Ukrainian dance, Gopak by Mussorgsky, and pieces by Prokofiev, Jenkins and Rimsky-Korsakov. With two performances tailored for different age ranges, there’s educational entertainment here for all.
Zoe Drummond | soprano Daniel Nicholson | baritone IBERT: Divertissement MENOTTI: The Telephone Arias and orchestral excerpts from operas by MASCAGNI, PUCCINI, LEONCAVALLO, DVORAK and VERDI
What to do when your beloved won’t get off the phone for long enough to let you propose to her, and you have a train to catch? In our distracted smartphone era this may seem like a small-scale problem, but things were a little different when Menotti’s one-act opera The Telephone was premiered in 1947.
Ibert’s lighthearted and witty Divertissement, adapted from his incidental music for the famous French farce The Italian Straw Hat, aptly complements the mood of Menotti’s comic drama.In the second half, sit back and enjoy some of the best-loved vocal and orchestral treasures from the Italian opera repertoire, including Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” (Gianni Schicchi) and “Un Bel Di” (Madama Butterfly), Verdi’s “Caro Nome” (Rigoletto) and the famous Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.